Xbox 360 Review: Brink

Viva la Revolución?

A man-made floating city called the Ark, made up of hundreds of separate floating islands, is on the brink of all-out civil war. Originally built as an experimental self-sufficient and 100% “green” habitat, the reported rapid rise of the Earth’s oceans has forced the Ark to become a refuge for humanity. Crammed with the original Ark founders, their descendants, as well as tens of thousands of refugees, the Ark exists in total isolation from the rest of the world. With 25 years of social unrest, the inhabitants of the Ark have reached their breaking point. It’s up to you to decide the future of the Ark and the human race.

Brink is Bethesda’s FPS’ take on Team Fortress in which you either want to escape the Ark or defend it from rebels through mission-based matches, which can include anything from escorting a hostage to planting explosives on doors and hacking computers. It all sounds good and with literally thousands of customisable options for your character, what could possibly go wrong?

Well, its not that anything goes wrong…it’s just been done before and done a lot better than Brink can provide, which is a shame as I had high hopes for it. Sure, you can customise everything on your character and your weapons (providing you have enough XP or completed enough challenges) but the main problem is that you’ll come across the same old maps and the same old objectives again and again to grind your way to have enough to unlock more items for you to apply to your character.

There are only a few maps available and since the game launched, there’s been considerable lag online which Bethesda hope to fix with an upcoming patch, but also to pay us back by making the first DLC available for free, which is a nice gesture. The problem I can see is by the time that they do that, most people would have got bored of the game and already traded it back to the store they got it from. That’s not to say that Brink has it all bad. It can be fun to begin with and trying to work as a team, trying to complete objectives is decent, but like I said earlier…it’s been done before and Brink doesn’t really add anything new to the genre. It’s nice that you can switch character classes at computer terminals, but that’s probably the extent of any unique gameplay.

Most of the game requires you to be logged into Xbox Live to play anyway, so if you are a Silver member then you will miss out on 95% of the game, which isn’t really mentioned anywhere on the box or adverts that I’ve seen. The story is painfully thin and you’ll come across the odd short cutscene which looks pretty terrible compared to the rest of the game. Brink looks good in parts, but very average in other areas such as character models. Voice-acting is also pretty bad, which is a surprise.

The Verdict

Brink can be fun when you begin, but it wears thin quickly and the majority requires you to be online all the time to get the most out of it. If only there were more maps available at launch and there wasn’t an endless grind for XP then it might have been more enjoyable than it actually is. Lets hope that future DLC will expand the game and fix the lag, but it’s going to take a lot more than that to make it truly memorable.